The State in Modern Society

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9781573928229: The State in Modern Society
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This book presents a framework through which to understand the relationship between social class and the state from a broadly Marxist perspective. The framework focuses on the idea that states represent ruling classes, even though imperfectly, and that the political arena is not independent of economic class structures. Whereas most works dealing with the relationship between class and state concentrate on single examples and single countries, this book examines in a comparative way an entire set of modern state types in the context of class relationships.

Four types of state are analyzed: the "third world" authoritarian state (in several of its forms); the modern liberal or bourgeois state; the fascist or Nazi state; and the Soviet or, more properly, the Stalinist state. In addition, more explicitly focused chapters discuss the connection between the ruling bourgeois class and the modern state, and the ways in which different states deal with ethnic minorities. All theoretical discussions are supported by copious data and many specific examples of particular concepts are cited.

Through trenchant analysis and succinct prose, The State in Modern Society admirably fills the need for a book that translates the sometimes jargon-ridden Marxist perspective into language comprehensible to university students and to the educated lay public as well.

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"...an excellent introduction to the study of the state as it has actually existed...a fine example of theory employed to illuminate, rather than obscure, a vital topic...suitable for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as for the general reader." -- Review of Radical Political Economics

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This admirable study presents a framework through which to understand the relationship between social class and the state from a broadly Marxian perspective. Unlike many previous works on the relationship between class, state, and revolution, THE STATE IN MODERN SOCIETY examines the comparative and historical dimensions of an entire set of modern state types. Four kinds of state are analyzed: the "third world" authoritarian state (in several of its forms); the modern liberal or bourgeois state; the fascist or Nazi state; and the Soviet or, more properly, the Stalinist state. All theoretical discussions are supported by copious data and aided by helpful notes to the reader. THE STATE IN MODERN SOCIETY offers a Marxian analysis of the most important issues of the twenty-first century, including class, revolution, and ethnic conflict, in language comprehensible to university students as well as to the educated lay public.

"Martin Oppenheimer has given us a lively and engaging comparative study of the state, the forms it can take, and the interests it can serve. This work speaks to the past and the present as well. Professors no less than students will find it of value. Professor Oppenheimer has rendered a real service with this book" ---Stephen Eric Bronner, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University

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